Success without sacrifice: Change your thinking
A lot of people have given up on this idea. They act as if their lives are limited to a series of trade-offs, and they end up making difficult choices they really don’t want to make.
Take Whitney. Whitney was a leading journalist who used to travel constantly, worked non-stop and was starting to feel bitter and jaded. In order to succeed in her career, she thought she had to sacrifice everything. She ate on the road, barely got enough sleep, and never had time to relax and enjoy her family and friends. She almost never had quality time to herself.
In her mind, this was the sacrifice she had to make. But that’s a very limited view. There’s another way Whitney would be able to approach her life – one that would be more fulfilling and sustainable, while still making it possible to be the successful career woman she wanted to be.
This article will cover two kinds of thinking – one that’s limiting, and one that’s empowering. When you learn to embrace a more powerful perspective, you are going to feel like you truly have it all.
Take a closer look at Whitney’s assumptions. When Whitney was sacrificing herself, her health, and her relationships for her job, she was assuming that she had to choose between different parts of her life to make it all work.
- Either she could get the breaking story or she could get enough sleep.
- Either she could travel non-stop or she could give up her career dreams.
- Either she could be known for her quality journalism, or she could have a life.
These are the kinds of assumptions many of us make about our own lives. This is Either/Or Thinking.
Either/or thinking means thinking in black and white.
- Either I can make a difference or I can make money.
- Either I can be relaxed or I can be accomplished.
- Either I can be happy now, or I can be happy later.
Either/or thinking is an extremely restrictive, yet common, way of viewing the world. We can box ourselves into a corner believing we can either have this or that, and we force ourselves to make a choice.
Not so. If you pay attention to your usual thought patterns, you can learn to change the ones that limit you or hold you back.
For Whitney, the sacrifice of a high-powered career had taken its toll long enough, and Whitney was ready to quit. She called it “retiring,” but anyone could see Whitney didn’t really want to leave the job that she loved. She just figured if she wanted a better quality of life she was going to have to make a choice.